Opinion: Missouri to Repeal Mandatory Helmet Law

 

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A substitute title could be: Here we go again!

Our fair state of Missouri just passed House Bill 555 last week which states that persons 21 years of age or older are exempt from wearing a DOT approved motorcycle helmet when on a motorcycle or “motortricycle” and something about permits being renewed more than once, blah blah.

Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the law the last time it passed back in 2009.  At that time, one of the reasons for the law had to do something with all the money the state was losing to South Dakota during the annual Sturgis Rally.  I remember that because back then, I found it ridiculous that lawmakers felt that if Missouri repealed their helmet law, motorcyclists would just stop going to Sturgis and spend money in the Show-Me state instead.

This time around, one of the arguments in favor of the law is a little easier to swallow: with Missouri being surrounded by states that do not require helmets, lawmakers feel that Motorcyclists who travel cross-country bypass the state and thus Missouri is lots and lots of money.

Arguable.

In my opinion, it is the roads that keep Arkansas so heavy with motorcycling, Colorado gets the nod for it’s epic scenery and more or less the same for Missouri’s southern neighbors.  (I’ll say that no one sane rides though the wind tunnel known as Kansas if they don’t have to but the state does not have a mandatory helmet law in place.)  Missouri doesn’t have scenery to attract out of state riders and it definitely doesn’t have the roads to make it a motorcycling destination.  In fact, our roads are so bad that President George W. Bush made a crack at us about it.

Regardless, we’ll be keeping a very interested eye on the further progress of this bill and keep you posted as well!  Let us know in the comments what you think of this bill and/or your thoughts on helmet laws and the reasons for or against them.

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